New post with more on what I think went wrong with media coverage and public discussion last year about COVID origins, and what it says about the way the too tight media/Twitter feedback loop works to our detriment.https://www.theinsight.org/p/how-the-twittermedia-feedback-loop …
Nice to see someone clearly state, for the current discourse, that there’re multiple lab-related theories, and that there in fact was not just utilitarian speculation about a lab accident, but also explicit political xenophobia with purported intentional lab release. Well done!
"Trump and Senator Tom Cotton weighed in on the issue, after which it exploded in the fever swamps, with undeniable racism at play, advocating increasingly weird and unlikely scenarios" huh? Why conflate Cotton and Trump? Cotton was measured, but misquoted.
I hate Trump, I didn't vote for Trump, but let's be honest: political motivation to not shunt any blame away from Trump was a huge driver of discrediting the lab-leak. They needed every inch of advantage in a nail-biter electoral contest, and they pursued it. That was a factor.
Finally, you are also not mentioning the fact that the lab leak was strategically suppressed by upper levels within Trump's administration, because we were in dire need of PPE supplies that had been held up from China. there was more going-on behind scenes than you imagine.
I fully agree with: "I believe that working to answer key questions that otherwise would be monopolized by racists is core to practicing antiracism." Very true and very difficult.
at least 3 of the 18 authors are fairly present on Twitter and I recognize at least half the names but the obvious answer to their central critique: why did lab leak get fewer pages is that evolutionary pressure on viruses is much more intense outside lab settings than in them
This is great! Only thing I'd add is that what you're getting at is the different logics of explaining general patterns (how outbreaks tend to occur) vs a single case (how this outbreak occurred). This is something I've been addressing in my methods class.